“Nara Park, a magnificent stretch of woodland comprising some 1250 acres, on a gentle hill-slope [in Nara], crossed and re-crossed by noble avenues overhung with lofty evergreens and deciduous trees of many varieties (cryptomerias, pines, oaks, plums, Salisburias, etc.), is perhaps the finest cultivated park in the Empire.
“These superb trees (60 or more of which were unfortunately wrecked by the devastating typhoon of Sept., 1912), are interspersed with fine old cherry trees which are a glory in April, and maples which are of such unexampled beauty in Nov. that thousands of pilgrims repair hither to drink in the beguiling beauty of the sight. The underbrush beneath the forest monarchs has been cleared so that the rich greensward comes up to the very trunks and makes one think of a well-kept English park or a stretch of cultivated woodland in the Blue-grass region of Kentucky.
“Through this Elysian zone there wander at will hundreds of quasi-sacred, dappled fallow-deer so tame that with their adorable little fawns they eat from one’s hand and do not shrink from inserting their velvety but cold and moist noses into the stranger’s pocket in search of goodies. From this protected reservation they wander all over the town and the adjacent hills; usually returning at nightfall and sometimes bringing wild deer with them.”
– Terry’s Japanese Empire: A Guidebook for Travelers, T. Phillip Terry, 1914